Article, October 2005
Maintaining Your Downloads
by David Garcia,
President, Little Blue PC Club, Northglenn, Colorado
firstname.lastname@example.org (click to email author)
Having trouble keeping track of your downloaded files? Here’s a couple of easy procedures to help you maintain, identify, and document your downloads.
1. Create a “Downloads” Folder & Sub-folders
When downloading files, (for example, you buy some software online, and download it instead of having it mailed) it is a good idea to place all your downloads into a specific folder so that you can always find them when you need them. If you don’t already have a folder called “Downloads,” or “My Downloads,” then you should create one on your hard drive (normally the “C:” drive).
To create a folder on the “C:” drive right-click the Start button on the desktop, then click “Explore” in the popup menu. This will open the Windows Explorer. Left-click the “Local Disk (C:)” icon to highlight it. Then click “File” on the Menu Bar and point to “New.” When the fly-out menu opens, click “Folder.” A “New Folder” is created on the C: drive. Rename it to “Downloads” or “My Downloads” as you prefer. To rename it just right-click it and select Rename from the popup menu.
Prior to downloading a given file it would also be good, for identification and documentation purposes, to create a sub-folder within the “Downloads” folder that identifies the origin of the download. Give the sub-folder a short name that identifies its origin. For example, if you download some anti-virus software from Symantec, you might name the sub-folder “Symantec.” Then when you download the file place it into the Symantec sub-folder within the “Downloads” folder. Any subsequent downloads from Symantec should also be placed into this folder.
Creating the sub-folder is similar to creating the “Downloads” folder. To create the sub-folder you left-click the Downloads folder, click “File” on the Menu Bar, point to “New,” click “Folder,” and rename it. You should now have a sub-folder within the Downloads folder. The hierarchy should look like this:
Local Disc (C:)
Downloads (or My Downloads)
Sub-folder (Whatever you name it)
2. Documenting the Download
When a file is downloaded it usually has a cryptic name like “Abc4205.exe” To further document my downloads, I create a text file within the sub-folder that identifies the download. Within the text file I give a description of what the download is, when I downloaded it, and when I installed it. I give the text file the same name as the downloaded file except for the extension. For example, if I downloaded a file called “Abc4205.exe” from Symantec using the procedure #1 above, it would be in the “Downloads” folder in the “Symantec” sub-folder. I would then create a text file called “Abc4205.txt,” and also place it in the “Symantec” sub-folder. In this example, I would have two files within my “Symantec” sub-folder: Abc4205.exe which is the downloaded file and Abc4205.txt which is my description of the downloaded file.
To create the text file left-click the sub-folder name (e.g. “Symantec”) once. Click “File” on the Menu Bar and then point to “New.” When the fly-out menu opens, click “Text File.” A “New Text Document.txt” file will be placed into the subfolder. Rename the file to the download file name (without the “exe” extension). Now double-click the renamed text file to open it with Notepad. Type in your description of the download and save it.
Using the above two procedures gives you an orderly method of maintaining, identifying, and documenting your downloads.
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